Yu Darvish’s Knuckle-Curve and the Nastiest Pitches from 9/25

Callen Elslager recaps the nastiest pitches from Friday's action.

Every morning, the We Love Baseball crew reviews the Nastiest Pitches from the previous day’s games in glorious high-definition GIFs. We want to bring you the highest caliber of nastiness possible, so if you see a nasty pitch, please tell us about it. You can tweet @PitcherList to let us know and we’ll give you a shout-out here in the article if your tip makes the cut.

As a bonus for PL+ members, let us know about a pitch on the PL+ Discord in the Nasty Pitches Channel, and if your suggestion is included the next day, you’ll be entered into a weekly drawing for a free T-shirt!

 

Yu Darvish‘s Knuckle Curveball

 

 

Starting off this article with NL Cy Young award contender Yu Darvish, who added to his Cy Young-caliber season on Friday night with seven shutout innings in a win over their cross-town rivals. In those seven innings, Darvish gave up only three hits, striking out five and lowering his ERA on the season to 2.01. Among those strikeouts was this knuckle-curve dropping out of the zone to get AL MVP candidate Jose Abreu chasing.

 

Zac Gallen‘s Curveball

 

 

In his final start of the 2020 season, Zac Gallen capped off his exciting first full season in the majors with six shutout innings in a win over the Rockies in game 1 of a double-header. In those six innings, Gallen set a season-high with 10 strikeouts, the first of these strikeouts is seen here with this curveball getting Trevor Story chasing out of the zone. (h/t to PL+ member Ben Bingham).

 

José Berríos‘ Curveball

 

 

José Berríos did not have the greatest final tuneup before the postseason, going five innings and allowing four runs in a 7-2 loss to the Reds on Friday night. He struck out seven, including the leadoff batter Shogo Akiyama on this backdoor curveball catching Akiyama looking.

 

Dylan Cease‘s Slider

 

 

It is not easy to go up against Yu Darvish and try and match him pitch for pitch. That challenge fell into the hands of Dylan Cease on Friday night, in the first of three in the battle for Chicago. While Cease did not have the best of starts, he does make it onto this list with this slider bearing into Victor Caratini, with Caratini unable to hold up on his swing.

 

Charlie Morton‘s Curveball

 

 

In his final tune-up for the postseason, Charlie Morton struck out eight Phillies while picking up the no-decision in a game that the Rays would end up winning 6-4. Among these strikeouts was this curveball down and away getting Jean Segura chasing out of the zone.

 

Carlos Carrasco‘s Changeup

 

 

Carlos Carrasco capped off a really good season with eight strikeouts in six innings, allowing only two runs in a no-decision against the Pirates, lowering his ERA to 2.91 for the season. Among these strikeouts was this changeup to Josh Bell getting him out in front and down swinging.

 

Nate Pearson‘s Fastball

 

 

Here is a pitcher in Nate Pearson I expect to see many times on this list in the near future. Coming out in relief of Taijuan Walker, Pearson picked up his first career win preserving the shutout against Baltimore in 1.2 innings of relief with two strikeouts. Pearson makes it onto this list with one of those two strikeouts, a 101 mph fastball making Austin Hays climb the ladder and chase out of the zone.

 

Jonathan Loaisiga‘s Changeup

 

 

As if the Yankees needed more pitchers with dominant stuff out of their bullpen, they may have found another in Jonathan Loaisiga. Loasisga pitched two perfect innings on Friday night, keeping the game at a one-run deficit to allow the Yankees to attempt to come back. His lone strikeout was this changeup down and in dropping Lewis Brinson down to one knee as he swings through it.

 

Sandy Alcantara‘s Sinker

 

 

Anytime you can force the reaction of the batter snapping the bat over his knee as Clint Frazier did here, the pitch belongs in this sort of article. That is exactly what Sandy Alcantara did on Friday night, in a really great start to help the Marlins clinch a spot in the postseason. Alcantara went 7.1 innings in a no-decision, allowing three runs on six hits and striking out nine Yankees, including Frazier on this 97 mph sinker down.

 

Chris Bassitt‘s Curveball

 

 

Chris Bassitt was impressive on Friday night throwing seven shutout innings and striking out six in a Friday night Pitcher’s duel against Yusei Kikuchi and the Mariners. The best of these strikeouts was this 70 mph curveball down to Joseph Odom, which he could not wait up on swinging right through and dropping down to a knee before taking the walk back to the dugout.

 

Dinelson Lamet‘s Slider

 

 

Dinelson Lamet struck out four Giants in his 3.2 innings of work. It was tough to pick the best of these strikeouts, but I ended up choosing this slider down in a key moment, making Donovan Solano wave right through for the first out if the inning.

 

 

Callen Elslager

Callen is a law school student at Widener Law Commonwealth. When he doesn't have his head in the books studying law he can be found with his head in a Fangraphs or Baseball Savant page learning more about the sport he loves.

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